STAFF and residents swung into action to raise the profile of nursing homes.
Dozens of people from homes across Wearside and East Durham took part in the National Care Home Open Day, backed by Baroness Joan Bakewell.
North View Lodge, Castletown, held a 60s and 70s theme fancy dress affair to spread the word about the work they do with people aged between 25 and 70.
Home administrator Stephanie Bell said: “The day was about telling people in the community that we are a home for young people.”
Organisations including the TA and St John Ambulance got involved and set up stalls to hand out information, and an American Cadillac car was on site for people to have photographs with.
“A singer performed 60s and 70s songs,” said Stephanie. “And we served burgers, hot dogs and fries outside the home.”
Residents helped to run stalls including raffles, a tombola, and a tea and coffee stand.
“They decorated the whole home,” Stephanie said. “And their families got involved too and helped them to run the stalls.
“All the staff went out of their way to bring in raffle prizes, and people to get involved.”
Ashton Grange Care Home, Pallion, held a Charlie and the Chocolate Factory theme day. Senior residents took part in sports with SAFC’s Foundation of Light, and the home welcomed people from St Luke’s Church, Pallion, and GPs surgeries to social workers.
Home manager Lesley Dawson said: “I think it’s a good idea to organise an open day, because although people can come in any time, when it’s arranged they can organise a time when they can spare half an hour or a hour to come in.
“It was a big day for us. We had a lot of support from the families and staff.”
Washington Care Home had a family theme day with bouncy castle, guess the weight of the cake, and face painting.
The facility, which houses elderly people with conditions such as dementia, used the occasion to inform people about the work it does.
Deputy home manager Kim Whelan said: “We had a drinks and information table with leaflets describing a day in the life of a nurse or manager.
“We set everything up in the car park so people passing by could see us.
“Parents brought their children after school, and youngsters with an interest in working in homes could chat to staff.
“It was all about getting as many people in as possible.”
At Cedar Court Care Home in Portland Avenue, Deneside, Seaham, a host of events were held.
Celebrations began with a singing session, based on a seaside theme, followed by a barbecue open to all for lunch.
Staff from Beamish, who wore period clothing, visited during the afternoon and teamed up with children from Seaview Primary to make lemonade to serve to residents and visitors.
Alzhemier Society members spent time with residents and lead a Singing with the Brain therapy group.
Mayor of Seaham, Barbara Allen, joined in as she officially opened the new summer house, built in the grounds thanks to £700 raised through a concert by Durham Constabulary’s Male Voice Choir at Dawdon Welfare, and donations from the families of residents past and present.